How has MS impacted your friendships and relationships?


Community Answers
  • KCDavis
    5 months ago

    I thought I could say that my marriage was stronger due to MS but recently found out that my husband of 25 years has been having an emotional affair with a female coworker. When confronted in therapy, he even complained of going to my appointments with me. Something he previously said he didn’t mind. I don’t believe there is an easy answer to fix this mess. I basically hate MS.

  • Christine F moderator
    5 months ago

    I am so sorry to hear this, KCDavis. Please know you are not alone and that many community members can relate to how you are feeling.Thank you for sharing your experience and being a part of our community. We are always here for you! Best, Christine, Multiplesclerosis.net Team Member

  • Happy Go Lucky
    5 months ago

    I would say that some people have moved on. I do keep in mind that friendships have a lifespan. There is natural attrition where friendships are concerned. We move on for a multitude of reasons and it’s not always about MS. Sometimes it’s not about me at all. I have a couple of very close friends, and our time is spent doing things we enjoy together. I have a friend and many acquaintances that I do pottery with. I have a different friend whom I go out to coffee and the occasional movie with, and one I walk with from time to time. I have a very old and dear friend that lives about an hour away who meets me in a small town that we both like. We stroll around and have lunch. My husband and I go to the coast quite often. We watch something on Netflix or Google play most nights. I should not forget my dog. She is always here for me, as dogs are always loyal to the end. I don’t want to sell acquaintances short they are more important in our lives than we often give them credit for. When I get a little down, I go out for a walk with my dog and chat with neighbors and whoever is out there, or I go to a coffee shop, anywhere there are people. light conversation is sometimes just the ticket. I don’t have the interactions I used to have, but I have enough. I also have two fantastic adult children and a fantastic husband. Even if I didn’t have MS, I think a really good friend or two is better than a lot of sort of friends.

  • Alina Ahsan moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi Happy Go Lucky, thank you for sharing this beautiful perspective. It’s great that you can participate in your hobbies and interests with different friends- some friendships can serve different purposes in life, and I can really relate to your words about how meeting with acquaintances or having light conversation can be uplifting, too. I’m so happy to hear you have such a wonderful family and friends. Thank you for being part of our community!
    -Alina, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • Ewing48
    5 months ago

    Sadly, I have lost friends(?) after canceling plans at the last minute. No one understands the depth of MS.

  • Erin Rush moderator
    5 months ago

    I am sorry this has happened to you, Ewing48! Please know this community can understand what you are experiencing. Thank you for sharing. Best, Erin, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member.

  • gu9sut
    5 months ago

    Next week I will have been diagnosed 18 years, thankfully my relapses are few and far between. In September 2016 I was diagnosed with Parkinsons. My partner knew when we got together in 2013 that I had MS and he was ok with it but 5 months ago he decided things were too much for him, it has hurt me to the core. Up until the day he left all I heard was I love you so much and I’ll always be here for you. We weren’t married on paper but we were in our hearts and he just walked away like it was nothing. Til death do us part or you get sick is the new vow it seems. I’m devastated, my family has always been dysfunctional, my children are grown with their own families so I don’t see them much and all my friends left me behind because I can’t keep up and no one seems to think I should be hurt or upset because they can’t help I have diseases that hold me back. So it’s me and my dog and we’re happy.

  • Erin Rush moderator
    5 months ago

    I am so very sorry for the ending of your relationship, gu9sut! I am glad you have your dog to be a steady companion for you. I know many of our members cherish their pets as sources of support, friendship, and unconditional love. I hope you and your dog have many happy years ahead of you.

    I am sorry your human relationships have not been as reliable. Sadly, this is something so many people within this community can understand all too well. Please know we are here for you anytime you need to share or vent.

    Also, if you are interested, we do have a sister site dedicated to Parkinson’s Disease — https://parkinsonsdisease.net/.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

    Best, Erin, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member.

  • New to me
    5 months ago

    MS has caused me to no longer be the “go to guy” for friends & family, need help fixing something? Help moving, replacing a deck,repair your car? I was your guy, I found myself no longer able to say yes to plans that were days or weeks off because I might be having a “bad day” plus my muscle weakness makes it hard to do anything physically taxing, my mind is more than willing but my body says no.,

  • Erin Rush moderator
    5 months ago

    I am sorry you can’t be the “go to guy” anymore, New to me. I hope your friends and family have been understanding and that they can be “go to guys” for you, when you need them. Thank you for sharing! Best, Erin, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member.

  • Tess
    5 months ago

    I had what I thought was a bff for 15 years. Diagnosed with MS and turned into a bf. Now rarely hear from who I thought was at least an f. It’s like the news of my MS changed the entire relationship, so here I say It’s bs.

  • Erin Rush moderator
    5 months ago

    While I am so sorry you experienced this, Tess, but I have to admit, your description made me chuckle! Thanks for sharing your wit with the community! Best, Erin, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member.

  • MS-SUCKS
    5 months ago

    As my MS progressed “friends” started dropping like flies. I was diagnosed with MS before getting married and I told my fiance I’d understand if she wanted to go our separate ways because of the unknown future. She said, “No, I’ll stay with you even if you end up in a wheelchair!”. You guessed it, as soon as my butt permanently hit my chair she was gone. With one of the many guys she cheated on me with by the way.

  • Erin Rush moderator
    5 months ago

    Wow, MS-SUCKS. I am very sorry that your friends and spouse have not stood by you on this journey. As you can see from the comments here, you are not alone in this. Please know our community members can truly get what you have gone through.

    Thank you for sharing and I sincerely hope this year brings you good, reliable friendships.

    Best, Erin, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member.

  • Tess
    5 months ago

    The engagement and wedding was a fairytale. Real life got in the way. I’m sorry this happened to you. Truly.

  • ysanchez
    5 months ago

    This subject comes too close to home as my common law husband just walked out on me or should I say on the relationship this Saturday 02/4/2018. I have been a mess all week. We were together for quite a while before he was encarcerated for drug trafficking, yes I know it’s dumb that I waited for him six years. One year before his release I was diagnosed with MS. He wrote me letters about how he couldn’t wait to be out to help me, and that he didn’t care that I had MS. He would be there through every step of this diagnosis. When he was released he came home. He did help a lot. We both had full time jobs and while he was struggling to find a better paying job where maybe I wouldn’t have to work so many hours anymore or maybe at some point stop working. He cleaned, helped with picking up my girls from school or practice. He did a lot at home that I couldn’t find myself doing at times running to the pharmacy for medication or grocery shopping. All of the above. All the things I used to do before MS made a mess of me. He started to get tired, moody, stressed out. He said I was always complaining, and maybe I did. But with time I realized he was the one unhappy and he was making excuses. Every time we would get mad he would tell me maybe it’s better if I leave. I didn’t kick him out. I decided if he was going to leave it was his decision. Well he did he left. He got upset for minor things that I think we could of talked through, things that were very insignificant, and he made it seem as if I was the one u happy and didn’t appreciate him. On Saturday he packed all his things and left. I have been unable to stop crying, my concentration is more off, I can’t eat, I’m honestly very depressed. When you love someone you don’t walk out in them no matter how bad things get. I didn’t walk out on him while he was encarcerated. At this point I don’t want to see him hear from him or anything. I wish to forget that I wasted 5 years of my life waiting for him and diagnosed in the last year before he got out. Perhaps if I didn’t wait on him I could have found someone else who would love me and be able to walk this path with me. I feel used, and robbed. I have never given up but right now I feel like I just did.

  • Erin Rush moderator
    5 months ago

    Ysanchez, please know we are thinking of you during this difficult time. I would not say you “wasted” those years of your life. You were being loyal and loving and caring. That’s not a bad thing. You modeled commitment to your children. You showed them you can be strong and dedicated, even when faced with pretty harsh life circumstances. Those are lessons they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. That may very well be a part of your legacy — your strength, devotion, and kind heart.

    And it’s ok if you are not feeling strong and loving right now. That’s normal! You deserve better! I hope you have people in your life to offer you some support right now. And if all you have is your children, I hope you are able to enjoy things together as a family — even if it’s curling up on the couch for a movie night. You managed just fine without this man for five years. From reading your words, I have no doubt you can manage and thrive well without him

    Go ahead and grieve the loss. That’s ok. But know that you have got this, even if you think you don’t.

    I hope 2018 turns into a better year for you. May you be surrounded by friends and loved ones that get you and treat you like the treasure you are.

    Best, Erin, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member.

  • Azjackie
    5 months ago

    I know exactly how you feel. My boyfriend of almost 6 years did the same kind of thing almost finding things in a conversation to give him an excuse to show you he’s unhappy. Hello? We are not invisible we are suffering, MS is not great. My boyfriend was always on the road with work. Daily texts or calls “I love you”, then November 13, 2017 texts weird, “my flesh is weak, I make mistakes at work, you are my best friend always”? I did get closure. I packed up all remaining personal belongings plus some things he had given me in a vehicle he left me to use in an emergency and had a friend follow me to his property nearby. I parked the secured vehicle and locked the keys in his garage. Now I get calls “I am going through a lot right now, I love you”. Again Hello? We are better off without them.

  • JOswald1972
    5 months ago

    I was diagnosed with RRMS in 2008.in 2011 I had a big relapse so I changed to a different disease Modifying Therapy from Rebif to the newly much heralded Tysabri. My boyfriend at the time (a10year relationship) asked me to marry him. So we got married in November 2011. After 2 and a half years being stable on Tysabri I developed PML and my once loving compassionate husband forgot his vow of in sickness and in health and became resentful of my disabilities and needs and began being angry and resentful of my needs. I was confined to a wheelchair and stopped working. His once independent wife was costing him money, time, and energy and he became mean and abusive towards me. I let him know that I wasn’t going to put up with being treated badly so I sued him for divorce and won!!! As soon as I changed from being independent to dependant, he had left our marriage mentally,physically and emotionally. It’s such a shame when people who claim to love you when your health is good turns his back on you when your health is bad. I survived PML thank God! Thankfully I have a loving and supportive family. My parents took me in to their house after my divorce and have been making sure I’m happy and healthy. My close friends have been supportive too. It’s too bad the love of my life couldn’t handle my illness.

  • Christine F moderator
    5 months ago

    JOswald1972 I am so sorry your husband did not stand by you but good for you for standing up for yourself and knowing that you deserve so much more! I am glad you have support from your family and friends.Thank you for sharing your experience with us and for being a part of the community! Best, Christine, Multiplesclerosis.net Team Member

  • Azjackie
    5 months ago

    I am glad you developed your independence and succeeded divorcing him. He was not worth the love you showed him. I do not think most people take vows seriously. A significant other doesn’t realize the situation until something happens to them. And then unfortunately the recognition is short lived. Health creates selfishness.

  • madayne
    5 months ago

    I feel your pain. My now ex wife were married and toughly two months later I was diagnosed. We have a beautiful five-year-old daughter but her career made it so she wasn’t home that much and is working quite.
    I was tasked with keeping the house neat, cooking, taking care of the dogs, etc. And I just couldn’t handle it.
    This went on for a few years and we ended up divorcing fall 2017. I live with my parents and she lives in the house with her mom that we had bought knowing I would get worse. (WEnt from a dingalow to a ranch). I really wished I could have stayed on the ranch but on disability, I don’t have that kind of money.
    I feel the same hurt on the vows “for better or worse” have little meaning.

  • WalterTHIII
    5 months ago

    My wife learned I had MS two years after our wedding. Not only did she stay with me, she became my most fervent supporter for this disease.
    even after my heart attack two years ago, she is still ultra supportive. She even gave up working outside of the home and is paid to work for me through the In Home Support Services! I gotta tell you, I LOVE this woman!

  • Christine F moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi WalterTHIII! Thank you so much for sharing. Your wife sounds like an amazing woman and I am so glad you have her love and support! Thanks for being a part of the community! Best, Christine, Multiplesclerosis.net Team Member

  • Azjackie
    5 months ago

    The more I think about it, it’s not MS. Without disease anything is a chore. Noone likes chores. Think about it in every day life. Traffic, pets,, work, meal prep, taking medications, excercising, opening the drapes, shopping…

  • Azjackie
    5 months ago

    MS is a relationship killer. A downright murderer.

    I used to window shop with my Mom at a mall all day. Walk from the mall to a restaurant 1/4 mile away. That way we could burn off the heavy laden lunch back to the car. No more. I used to hike in the woods with my Brother to watch wildlife. No more.

    I look normal until I get up to walk. The pain in my back is so intense I must lay down. In the heat I get dizzy and stagger. So if I could walk I’d look under the influence. My family look at me pathetically and selfishly with ‘come on let’s go’.

    My recent romantic relationship was ruined. I realized he wanted me to be the activities director, chef, psychologist, associate developer (make friends for him), travel agent, and lover. I struggled with those duties for close to 6 years never asking for anything. It was all on his time for him.

    My friends listen with sympathy but then say let’s go out to eat and talk about it maybe take in a movie or better yet shopping. Are you kidding me?

    I’m thinking when did these relationships realize I’m not who I was before MS.? MS has ruined my world. It murders your health, career, finances, self-esteem, and the most evil relationships.

    Who wants to be a caretaker even to the smallest degree? Moving a chair, helping you up, helping with meal prep, taking out the garbage. All becomes like unwanted chores even reflecting on you personally as a chore not a relationship.

  • Christine F moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi Azjackie. I am so sorry that you do not have the support and understanding you need from your family and friends. Many community members can relate to how you are feeling. Please know that there is always understanding and support here. Thinking of you, Christine, Multiplesclerosis.net Team Member

  • Pam
    5 months ago

    It’s hard when you have to cancel plans frequently because you’re just too tired. I know people think you can just push through it and if you’re a good friend you would, they don’t understand how debilitating it can really be. I work full time and have a 17 year old still at home, that’s about all I can muster. It’s been gradual, but there is less and less contact with the friends I used to spend a lot of time with. Their lives are different than mine, it happens.

  • Happy Go Lucky
    5 months ago

    I would say that some people have moved on. I do keep in mind that friendships have a lifespan. There is natural attrition where friendships are concerned. We move on for a multitude of reasons and it’s not always about MS. Sometimes it’s not about me at all. I have a couple of very close friends, and our time is spent doing things we enjoy together. I have a friend and many acquaintances that I do pottery with. I have a different friend whom I go out to coffee and the occasional movie with, and one I walk with from time to time. I have a very old and dear friend that lives about an hour away who meets me in a small town that we both like. We stroll around and have lunch. My husband and I go to the coast quite often. We watch something on Netflix or Google play most nights. I should not forget my dog. She is always here for me, as dogs are always loyal to the end. I don’t want to sell acquaintances short they are more important in our lives than we often give them credit for. When I get a little down, I go out for a walk with my dog and chat with neighbors and whoever is out there, or I go to a coffee shop, anywhere there are people. light conversation is sometimes just the ticket. I don’t have the interactions I used to have, but I have enough. I also have two fantastic adult children and a fantastic husband. Even if I didn’t have MS, I think a really good friend or two is better than a lot of sort of friends.

  • Nancy W
    5 months ago

    I’ve been diagnosed for over 14 years and stopped working 11 years ago. I have a completely different set of friends now.i met them by joining the local Women’s Club. Many of them are much older than me. I don’t talk to them on a daily basis. We get together once a week and play MahJongg. Many of them get together at other times for meals and movies or shows, but I can’t handle that. Still, I depend on them and they on me in an emergency.

    My husband is my real friend. He is still working but will retire within a year. It is good to have him to give me shape to my day. I still make dinner and do a lot of the housework, although I have a cleaning person do the heavy work.

    My children are grown and I have 5 grandchildren who live about 2 hours away. We spend many weekends visiting. We also have a travel trailer. This is a great way to deal with visiting family when I have fatigue. I know this is not an option for those with a lot of mobility problems. But, I can go in my camper and tell my family that I need to rest and they will leave me alone. When I feel up to it, I can interact with them.

    For me, it is hard to figure out how my MS has affected my relationships, since I have gradually adapted to this new way of life over the last 14 years.

  • Bettybeem
    5 months ago

    For the most part, my friends have been quite understanding. Unfortunately, my sister has chosen to not learn anything. She is never able to help. I know now I’ve never been considered part of her family. Perhaps the best way I’ve found to help explain what is going on in my body is to ask my friends to attend a Super Women with MS meeting which is moderated by my neurologist.

  • Christine F moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi Bettybeem! Thank you for sharing. I am sorry your sister has not learned about MS and how it affects you. Having your friends attend a Super Women with MS meeting with your neurologist is a great idea! I am glad they have been supportive and willing to learn more about MS. Thanks for being a part of the community! Best, Christine, Multiplesclerosis.net Team Member

  • LuvMyDog
    5 months ago

    I have found that the majority of people I know, have met, haven’t a clue as to how MS affects my life. They have made comments like, “Oh I know how that feels”, or “I’m tired too”, or “Yeh, my legs hurt too when I’m on my feet a lot”….They really just don’t get it!! And because of that, I find them to be stupid, uncompassionate, disrespectful and have no desire to be around them.

  • Alina Ahsan moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi LuvMyDog,
    It can definitely feel hurtful when others try to minimize the effects MS can have. I wanted to share an article with you where one of our contributors, Ashley, wrote “you don’t get it until you GET it” (MS). It can be so frustrating to have people try to compare themselves to you, and I thought you could relate to this post! https://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/till-you-get-it/ Thanks for being part of the community!
    -Alina, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • Tess
    5 months ago

    Even my own child hasn’t deeply researched MS. He is in denial. My mom cannot be I’ll.

  • Christine F moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi Tess. I am sorry that your son is having a hard time accepting your diagnosis. I hope he comes around soon. If you think it would help, feel free to share any of our articles with him! Thank you for being a part of the community. We are always here for you! Best, Christine, Multiplesclerosis.net Team Member

  • Yoshitail9
    5 months ago

    Luvmydog
    I would ask those people if they would like to change places with you for 24-48 hours; your symptoms for theirs… and then ask them to re-comment !

  • Tess
    5 months ago

    Amen to that

  • Sandy McIntire
    5 months ago

    Many of the friends I have made over that past umpteen years have drifted away now that I am not out and about so much. I do have a few very good friends who have stood by me and try to include me in activities as much as possible.. I am also fortunate that my husband is very supportive (sometimes too supportive) . he also makes sure I get out and about on a regular basis so I don’t just vegetate at home.. I do miss many of my friends but I understand life gets in the way sometimes. And I am thankful for the handful who have stayed close.

  • Alina Ahsan moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi Sandy,
    We hear you- MS and it’s many symptoms can definitely make it so much more taxing to get out and about. I’m really glad you hear that you have friends and family who continue to include you and support you. Thanks for sharing your experience here!
    -Alina, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • Susan Elizabeth
    6 months ago

    Yes. Dx 2009 RRMS that has steadily progressed with no relapses or MRI changes since 2011. Dependent on rollator at home and use wheelchair away from home >75% time.

    My best friend of over 30 years has slowly drifted away. They (we hung out as couples a lot) weren’t ones to face adversity so it shouldn’t have taken me so long to figure it out. I know it’s hard to “invite” me places, and I’m hesitant since I’m so dependent on other folks for help once I’m somewhere – plus I worry about banging up their walls. But never a visit, only a rare call or text – no contact for a couple months at a time?? I know I have little new to contribute and it’s often not great news but this is me now.

    But most importantly, my husband of >30 years is a wonderful caregiver, very attentive and loving. He’s taken on most of my home responsibilities (forced to retire 3 years ago) too. I have 2 wonderful adult children with their own families now. I focus my energy and uptime for them. I love them more than anything.

    But I still miss my girlfriend.

  • Alina Ahsan moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi Susan Elizabeth, I’m so sorry to hear that your friendship has drifted apart. I’m glad you have such a loving husband, but I completely understand that a close girlfriend is sometimes just what a person needs in different situations. It’s so understandable that you miss her! Thank you for sharing your experience here- as you can see, you’re definitely not alone in having your relationships affected by life with MS. Please remember that the community is always here for you!
    -Alina, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

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